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Inglourious Basterds

Darsteller / Actors Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Til Schweiger, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Eli Roth etc 
Regie / Director Quentin Tarantino 
Web www.inglouriousbasterds-movie.com
Total run time
153 min
Vö / Release
FSK/not under:
bereits erschienen / already released

The best way to explain this one is with "guilty pleasure". You know that it´s all wrong, and perhaps even really BAD - but you cannot help enjoying it...

The plot: In Nazi occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus Mélanie Laurent witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the "Basterds", a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl´s plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history...

So far so good, but better don´t expect any historical accuracy! Basically what is depicted here is the ultimate fantasy of "how WW II should have ended", so much over the top that it´s indeed entertaining from beginning to the - bloody - end. As Tarantino himself pointed out, Inglourious Basterds is a "spaghetti western but with World War II iconography", the best description of this movie anyway. Well, historically as accurate as any "Cowboy-and-Indians" confrontation flick, the iconic set of characters and scenes could not be more alike - the only difference seems to be the background of Europe in the 1940s, and that "white skins" take on scalping business. There´s even Ennio Morricone to be heard on the Soundtrack, and shoot-outs are modeled according to Sergio Leone / Sam Peckinpah classics - so no attempt to hide the major influences, rather playing with them and incorporating even more wild, incoherent, out-of-context ingredients into a new exciting product. Just imagine suddenly David Bowie´s / Giorgo Moroders Disco-style "Cat People" Soundtrack contribution to blasting out of the speakers in the middle of the movie... or Cartoon-like "comments" on characters and scenes...

Yet it´s also clear that without the talents of several cast-members - e.g. the brilliant Christoph Waltz who received Cannes Best Actor Award for his role, or a real CREEPY Daniel Brühl - the whole thing would have turned easily into a rather embarrassing farce. Tarantino´s ingenious twist here that despite all those strange bits and pieces, wanted and unwanted (?) bloopers - somehow IT WORKS. Although you can already imagine how it ends, some scenes have you hold your breath in excitement, others are simply heartbreaking, some of the villains appear scaringly REAL, and some scenes are so over-the-top ridiculous that you cannot help laughing out loud...

Summing up: This one is definitely another Tarantino instant classic, unlike other of his cinematic endavours of the recent past... The only thing to complain about is that several cast members, e.g. Gedeon Burkhard as Wilhelm Wicki - in Europe probably well-known from the TV series "Inspector Rex", as well as Til Schweiger (Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz) could have had a bit more screen-time to shine - so actually I´m looking forward to the extended DVD version...

Klaudia Weber

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